Cowboys and Indians

By: Matthew Li

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Valley Ranch, My ranch

The ranch is surrounded by land and hills, it houses about 2400 cattle and takes up 4800 acres of land. There are 35 ranchers and Cowboys that work for me, and they live in the houses I provide. We have plenty of water, and this land is perfect for ranching.
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My brand, The VR

My brand represents my ranch, valley ranch. The V connects with the R, and is very simple. My neighbors all recognize this brand well.

The Goodnight-Loving Trail

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Possible Problems On The Trail

On the trail, we will be traveling throughout hostile Native Territory. There is a high chance of a native attack, and an attack like this will cause us to lose much of our herd. Also because of this, we will have to set up watches and be careful at night. There are also some areas with little water. We will travel about 1500 miles, most through unfriendly territories. There will not be many towns, so we must bring a lot of food. We will travel about 125 days. I anticipate that we will lose about 1-200 cattle crossing the rivers. we will have to cross several times. I fear that after a few weeks, men will start to feel discouraged and leave the drive. To prevent this, I intend to draw up a contract that the men must sign. The drive will be full of hardships, but I intend to go all the way. The end result will be well worth it. With the 2400 steers I am taking, I believe I will lose maybe 400. In Wyoming, a 3 yr old steer will sell for $86!
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Finalizations For the Trip

I have finished drawing up the contract. All the men have signed it, and will all go. I have prepared a budget for the trip as well. It will be expensive but well worth the money. If I have estimated near close to accurate, The drive alone will cost over $23,000. But if we make it to Wyoming, we could sell each head of cattle for about $86! After all expenses, I will have made about $148,621! I made these calculations assuming that I will lose 400 cattle, as well as anticipating $100 extra expenses. All these plans will go into effect when we start our drive. We have started to brand stray cattle and buy supplies from a nearby town, as well as hire some more workers.

Day 23, Plus a bit of a Problem

We encountered a major problem on the trail today. Other than today, we have had little problems, besides the cook " accidentally" burning yesterdays dinner. We were making good time on the trail, and everything seemed good, until we got over our second hill for the day. Once we got into the valley, we were suddenly surrounded by about 15-20 wolves. They were unusually thin, probably from starvation. We couldn't shoot them, because the herd would stampede from the sudden activity and sound. They started pacing, probably looking for sick and weak cows. I had heard stories about wolves, but had never been up close and personal with them. I called 4 of my men to come help me come up with a solution. I doubted the wolves would give up easily, they were so hungry, they weren't going to let food slip away. We decided to out wait the wolves, because I had heard they had a lot of difficulty taking down large animals, so they opted for the injured, elderly, or sick. The wolves continued to pace for about another 10 minutes, before they decided to pick on a calf. They started to close in, and one of them pounced. now these wolves were hungry and desperate, but besides this, they were weak. So we had our dogs take care of them. In the end we had only lost one dog, and the calf only got scratched. the cattle did spook though, and some ran off. Everything was fine within an hour though, and we set camp in the valley.

Day 56, Big Issues.

We have a major problem that will se us back several days. Yesterday, our herd was hit with heel flies. About one-third of our herd was infected with them. We have to manually go through the cattle and squeeze out the eggs and maggots. for the cattle without it, we are constantly rinsing them with water. The water will help prevent more eggs being laid on them. The actual swarm of heel flies left about 2 hours ago. We have stopped all the herd movement, ad separated the infected from the uninfected to see how many are unwell. The men have split up into 3 groups. One group rinses the cattle to prevent egg-laying, one group squeezes out the eggs, and one group gets water and relaxes. We switch about every hour. We have finished about 300 of the cattle in 2 hours. There are about 300-800 eggs on each cow! All this is hard work, but it must be done, or the eggs will hatch. The maggots will then burrow into the skin and meat and damage it, lowering the value by a lot. We will be stuck here about 2 more days, picking through cows. We are not going to be able to save all of them in time, we are going to have to lose at least 100 cattle from those pesky flies. We have already lot 150 cattle from them running from the heel flies.

Poetry

It has been very boring picking flies out of cows, so I wrote some poetry.


There was once a cowboy named Gale.

He had spent four months on the trail.

He was very worn and tired,

so he wanted to be retired.


so he set on the way home,

tired, hungry, and alone,

and after 10 nights,

he had quite an appetite.


So he rode to town on his steed,

all covered with dust and weeds.

He then saw his good friend on a colt.

So he waved ad stopped with a jolt.


The wave spooked the horse.

Who charged and tore him in fourths

He died right there and then,

and his ghost learned to never wave at horses again.

The End

We finally arrived here in Wyoming!! The Men are so happy, they haven;t seen a house or other people in 125 days! We made it exactly on schedule, even though the heel-flies delayed us. We negotiated the deal yesterday, and got exactly what we asked for, $86. They have so much money here in Wyoming! We plan on staying here a couple of weeks, then returning home. I have payed the men each $100 extra for their hard work. They earned it after all. When we first saw the town, the men whooped and cheered. It turns out, the town hasn't seen steers in a long while. We paraded straight through the streets, and up to a motel. We partied all night to celebrate the success of the drive. The next day we negotiated the deal with Mr. Whoiterock. He was very pleased with the number, I might have gave him a deal. We decided to invite the whole town to a party. We all had a great time that night. I plan to return to my ranch in two weeks, but who knows, I might stay here. I have included my profits and losses on a receipt below. I believe the drive was worth it, and a good experience for all of us. It was successful as well.
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